Pandemic Highlights Deep Needs and a Big Price Tag, Newton Says

Public policy lecturer Jim Newton was featured in a New York Times article about the progressive initiatives put in place to help people bear the burden of the pandemic. As the country begins to reopen, the political left in California and across the country is arguing that normal wasn’t working. Many leaders hope that temporary measures – including the release of thousands of people from state jails and prisons, the elimination of cash bail for most crimes, makeshift shelters for homeless people, and providing children in rural areas with laptops for remote learning — will become durable solutions to long-standing problems of inequity. Newton highlighted “an abiding tension between accelerated momentum toward Democratic goals and a constrained ability to finance them.” He explained that “going back to a normal in which those problems just return doesn’t feel acceptable, particularly to the left.” The pandemic, he said, “both emphasizes the needs and highlights the big price tag.”

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